Monday, May 10, 2010


I mentioned in one of my early blog entries that Erika maintains that my favorite bird is the last one I've seen.  That bird would be this Ovenbird I banded yesterday afternoon.  The Ovenbird qualifies as a best bird on a number of counts.

1. The Ovenbird, a rather aberrant warbler, struts along on the forest floor calling "teacher, teacher, teacher," a habit that definitely appeals to a retired biology professor.

2. After I saw a satellite photograph of deforestation in the Yucatan Peninsula, where many Ovenbirds winter, I have worried about the Ovenbird's future.  Due to deforestation in Mexico contrasting with the jungle of Guatemala, you can actually see the border between Mexico and Guatemala from space.  (See, for example, Ovenbird populations are also declining because of fragmentation of North American forests. Fortunately Ovenbirds, both as migrants and breeders, are still fairly common in Minnesota.

3. The first bird I ever banded was an Ovenbird near Washington, DC, in about 1967.  Furthermore, during my South Dakota tenure, an Ovenbird I banded in Aberdeen on 4 May 2003 was recovered near Davidson, Saskatchewan, on 16 May 2005--a distance of about 527 miles.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice blog. I enjoyed all the pictures and the excellent background notes. Thanks!